District meet to host some of best in Texas￼
By Kyle Mooty
In the world of high school cross country, when Scott Hippensteel speaks, people should listen.
So, when the Lockhart boys’ head coach said Thursday’s Class 5A District 25 meet at City Park will probably be the deepest field in 35 years, it’s noteworthy.
Hippensteel, in his 35th season at the helm of the Lions, believes five of the 30 best teams and three of the top 10 in the entire state will be at City Park, and although the Lions have won three consecutive district titles, winning this year will require some incredible performances, and even that may not be enough.
“I think it is possible that all three teams that advance from District 25 to the regional meet could be among the top four teams at the regional that make it to the State Meet,” Hippensteel sad. “Cross Country is the only UIL sport that currently does not advance four teams to the next round. There are possibly three of the best 10 teams in this district. Thursday will be a challenge. I am confident we will give it our best.”
There are 32 districts vying for the same state meet and the top three teams from each district advance to regionals.
Cedar Creek, Leander, Liberty Hill, and Lockhart each have exceptionally strong programs.
At last week’s prestigious Chili Pepper Run in Arkansas in a field of 682 competitors, LHS senior James Franco finished first overall, while juniors Carlos Terrazas and Zeke Sanchez finished third and eighth, respectively.
Lockhart once won 22 straight district titles, but that ended in 2010. In 28 of Hippensteel’s 34 seasons at Lockhart, the Lions have been district champion (26 times) or runner-up (twice).
There are 32 Districts,
“We have had a very good regular season,” Hippensteel said. “I feel we are a team that has performed well in all six races we have run this fall. Our top three runners have never been beaten this fall when we combine their scores. Our fourth, fifth, and sixth runners have been steadily improving.
“Our first goal is of course to try and win the district meet, but in the case we don’t win, we need to be in the top three teams that advance to the regional meet.”
During the season, Lockhart has had a trio of runners win races, something of which Hippensteel is especially proud. And, he said his fourth, fifth and sixth runners have shown the ability t pass competitors in the second half of races.
“That shows me that they are unselfish, and care more about the team than themselves,” Hippensteel said.
Hippensteel, who also has two state titles to his credit, said Lockhart’s top three vs. Cedar Creek and Liberty Hill’s top three could decide who is champion, but added the fourth and fifth Lions also “need to have a really good day.”
District Meet schedule
Thursday, Oct. 13
Lockhart City Park
9 a.m. — Varsity Girls
9:40 a.m. — Varsity Boys
10:20 a.m. — JV Girls
11:00 a.m. — JV Boys
11:40 a.m. — Freshmen Girls
12:10 p.m. — Freshmen Boys